We expect an applicant to have earned a Bachelor's degree by the time he/she registers in EAPS, and possess a very strong background in math and physics. Students who hold the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree from an international program that is three years in length are eligible to apply. You do not have to hold a Masters degree to apply to a Ph.D. program. Admission is extremely competitive.
The online application is the required method of applying, and it is available between mid-September and December 1 at: https://gradapply.mit.edu/eaps/apply/. A few sections of the application are editable after submission, including the "Statement of Objectives." Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically although we also accept paper letters of recommendation. Letters that arrive by paper will be scanned to your online application. Transcripts should be scanned and uploaded with your application. We will accept transcripts delivered electronically directly from your school. We do not consider a CV and a list of publications when reviewing applications. If you send us additional documents that we have not requested, they will be discarded without consideration.
The mailing address is: EAPS Education Office, Room 54-912, MIT, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, if required due to special circumstances.
No, the deadline for submitting your application is Decemer 1 and the online application system will shut down that day. However, the online letter system will stay open for an additional week. Formal review of applications will begin at that time.
The online system requires you to pay with a credit card. We encourage you to use the online system; but, if it is impossible for you to pay with a credit card, you may send a paper application with a check to the EAPS Graduate Office, Room 54-912, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139. (Applicants should avoid using PO boxes in their return addresses).
You should fill out a completely new online application. You may indicate that you applied earlier by checking the appropriate box.
The application consists of five parts: The biographical section, 3 letters of recommendation, GRE general test scores, "Subjects Taken" form with grades, and a "Statement of Objectives." The IELTS or TOEFL test is required for all international applicants whose education was in a language other than English. PLEASE NOTE: due to the COVID-19 crisis, GRE scores will not be required or considered the 2020 admissions cycle.
In addition to the "Subjects Taken" section, you will need to upload a pdf copy of your transcripts with your application.
Yes, because of the new online procedure for evaluating applications, it is necessary for us to have consistent information online for each applicant.
Yes, you should list them.
No. there is only one admission process. When your submit your application please choose your final degree objective. You do not have to have a Master's degree before being accepted into our Ph.D. program.
No, we will not admit an applicant who already holds a PhD degree.
No. If you have started a master's or doctoral program at another university, you cannot transfer classes or research credit with the intention of completing that degree at MIT. However, the classes that you will be required to take as part of our EAPS program will reflect the background that you have. You will not be expected to take a course that has the same content as one you have successfully completed at another school.
No. Because of the large volume of applications submitted to EAPS, we must discourage you from sending in copies of awards, journal articles and other extraneous documents. If you do send any of these documents they will be discarded without reviewing them.
We do not require that you submit an updated transcript. If your most current transcript is available before the middle of January you may upload a new transcript file. However please be aware that by the time the new transcript is available, your application may have already been evaluated by several members of the admissions committee. If your application is accepted we will ask that you provide an official current transcript.
Please make certain your letters of reference, transcripts, and test scores [GRE, IELTS, and/or TOEFL] are submitted in a timely fashion. We will not delay consideration of an application to wait for missing materials. All decisions are made with the documentation available at the time.
PLEASE NOTE: due to the COVID-19 crisis, GRE scores will not be required or considered the 2020 admissions cycle. All applicants to EAPS are required to provide scores for the GRE general test that are five years old or less. Applicants to the Planetary Sciences program are required to provide scores from either the GRE Physics or Chemistry subject exams. The MIT reporting code is: 3514, and the EAPS Department code is: 0599. Please note: If you are taking a GRE exam close to or after the applicaiton deadline, all applications are reviewed once the application deadline has passed. Decisions will be based on the information available at the time of consideration. We do not dely the application review process to wait for missing information.
International students are required to provide scores from either the TOEFL or the IELTS scores for the English evaluation test. The IELTS is our preferred option. For the TOEFL, we require a score of at least 600 on the paper-based test and 100 for the Internet-based test. We require a minimum score of 7 on the IELTS
The department will waive the requrement for either the IELTS or TOEFL exam for those students who have completed a four year bachelor's progam that is taught exclusively in English. The IETS code for sending TOEFL scores to MIT is 3514, and the code for the EAPS Department is 61 for Astronomy, Planetary Science and 71 for Geology, Geochemistry, Geobiology, Geophysics, Atmospheric Science, Climate Physics and Chemistry. The IELTS scores are mailed by the agency directly to the MIT Admissions Office.
All students admitted to our doctoral programs are provided with full funding that includes a stipend, tuition, and health insurance. This may be in the form of a fellowship or research assistantship. At some time in your graduate career you will be asked to serve as a teaching assistant so that you gain that experience. Research assistantships are the primary support for students beyond the first year.
Newly admitted students are also encouraged to apply to outside government and private agencies for fellowship support. If you are awarded a fellowship from some other source, please call the EAPS Education Office to discuss the Department policy on merging various sources of support.
In a case like this, we usually suggest that you submit at least one letter from a faculty member who knew you well—perhaps your undergraduate thesis supervisor. The other two letters can be from employers. When in doubt, remember that our Admissions Committee wants to know about your ability to do independent research. Character references do not carry weight.
The application fee helps to defray the cost of processing applications. It is never waived and must be paid in U.S. dollars. We accept credit cards with the electronic online application and personal checks, bank checks, or money orders if a credit card is not available.
Do NOT send official copies of your transcript during the application process. You should upload a pdf copy of your transcript with your application. If your application is accepted you should have official transcripts sent to our office:
EAPS Education Office
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
We will acknowledge receipt of application with an email that tells you whether your application is complete or incomplete at that time. We will list any missing items. At any time you can go back into your online application and check whether any missing letters of recommendation and test scores have been received.
Applicants can log into their online account to check for their admission result. Decisions will be made starting about mid-January and the process will continue into March. The results will be posted online, and you will be notified by email. We do not send the results through the postal mail.
Decisions for September admission are made in January and the process will continue until March 15. Applicants should go into their online application to check their status. Applicants have until April 15th to notify MIT of their decision to accept or decline the offer of admission. Your recorded decison as of April 15 is considered binding and may require a written release. If you do not respond by April 15, we may recind our offer.
Information and a list of schools agreeing to adhere to these dates and conditions can be found on the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants, or by searching the Council of Graduate Schools website http://www.cgsnet.org.
An admitted student may make a written request to defer admission for one year only. Exceptions are made in rare cases; these written requests must be explained in detail.
The subjects you register for will depend on the education program into which you have been admitted. Your academic advisor will assist you in determining appropriate subjects for your program based on your research interests and your past experience. You can add or drop subjects during the term.
We have no evening or part-time courses. Content from many EAPS courses are posted in MIT's OpenCoursware project. In addition, as the MITx and edX programs develop, EAPS courses will become part of those available
All students whose applications have been accepted are invited to visit our department. If you are in the area prior to submitting your application, you are welcome to stop by the Education Office [Building 54, Room 912] to discuss the program.
Education Office Mailing Address
EAPS Education Office
Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
54-912, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77, Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139